What’s Next with Nicole is a biweekly opinion column. The views expressed are solely the author’s.
Arlington is a beautiful community with so much to be proud of.
For my last column of the year, here are some things that have been special to me, that I recommend, or that I want to acknowledge.
For 37 years Kip was a staple in thousands of Arlington student’s lives. In athletics he ran the Patriot Girls Hoops Summer Camp, coached Yorktown girls basketball, boys baseball, and the Special Olympics unified track and basketball teams.
More notably, he was a good friend. I don’t think many people knew his actual job, but as I have grown older I realized how important it was to have a non-parent adult at APS that you could always go to without judgement, and Kip was that person. Happy retirement, Kip.
Arlington County Police said goodbye to one really good boy this year. Koda was one of the best bomb sniffers in the region and spent time with his SRO handler welcoming students. Rest in peace and thank you for your service, Koda.
A powerful and consistent voice for our tree canopy. Arlington’s trees are what make us less of a concrete urban jungle and more of a livable, sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing community to live in.
- Black Parents of Arlington
If you didn’t read their Washington Post Op-Ed, I highly recommend it: Why black parents of Arlington are joining forces
- Rock climb at Earth Treks @earthtrekscrystalcity
Make sure you or the person you are with knows how to tie a figure 8 knot and belay! Rock climbing is a great way to cheer someone on, overcome failure, and get your endorphins running.
- Neighborhood events
Local organizations provide great events like Fridays at the Fountain in Crystal City, Rosslyn Movies in the park, and more. Find a full list for your neighborhood: Ballston BID, Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, Crystal City BID, Lee Highway Alliance, and Rosslyn BID,
- Twin Brothers Band @twinbrothersband
A Grateful Dead sound and some killer guitar solos. Having played with Junior Marvin of the Wailers these native Arlington twins are sure to get you grooving. Next local concert: Jan. 21 7:30pm @ Jammin’ Java.
- Concept Collective @1conceptcollective
With over 1 million Spotify streams on their hit, Tired Boy, this local rap group of Arlingtonians is truly a group to keep an eye on.
- Jack Labadie @jacklab.art
You can see this Arlington local’s work at the newly opened Open Road Grill in Rosslyn with his district vibrant portraits of Ryan Zimmerman and Bruce Springstein.
- Ann Marie Coolick @annmariecoolick
Queen of the “polka daub” you can see her art at local gift boutique, Covet.
- Down Dog Yoga @downdogyoga
My daily routine of heated baptiste vinyasa yoga that not only leaves you dripping in sweat from the cardio flow, but also helps with back alignment, builds lean strength in your arms, and tones your legs and glutes. Now on Groupon for a great deal.
Starting in Shirlington, running through Bluement to East Falls Church, ending in Purcellville. 45 miles of trail allows you to run or bike this trail for a while.
- Current Boutique @currentboutique
A high-end consignment store. Get a used Marc Jacobs dress for ~$40. Look great for not too much.
The price is right and they provide an excellent student discount for anyone under 23. I’ve been going here since they opened and staff is super friendly and attentive.
A Weekend Trip
- Rappahannock/Madison/Page County Shenandoah Getaway
Take a short drive to the beautiful Shenandoah. Head out with family or group of friends for a day or weekend of fun hikes, breweries/distilleries, fishing, and a burgeoning arts scene.
Recommended activities: Hike Old Rag & Stony Man Mountain; Drink at Pen Druid Brewing & River Hill Distillery; Check out art at Sperryville ARTist Cooperative or any Rappahannock Association for the Arts event; and find a good spot for fly-fishing through the National Parks Service or a guided experience from permitted local business.
Become a Regular at Spirits of ’76 or Meridian Pint!
- Sandwich: Earl’s Sandwiches
- Pizza: Pupatella, Italian Store, Lost Dog
- All you can eat: Ambar
- Arlington classic: Portabellos
- Cafe: Northside Social, Idido Social House
In closing, #FIGHTFINISHED, and I would sprain an ankle to hang out with Caps Pup. See you next year!
Nicole Merlene is an Arlington native and former candidate for Virginia State Senate. She has served as a leader in the community on the boards of the Arlington County Civic Federation and North Rosslyn Civic Association, as an Arlington Economic Development commissioner, in neighborhood transportation planning groups, and as a civic liaison to the Rosslyn Business Improvement District.
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Join MoCA Arlington Summer Camps at Marymount University and learn the fundamentals of handbuilding, throwing on a wheel, glazing, and much more. In this two-week course, students will explore hand building techniques, wheel throwing, and strengthen ideas that exemplify individual artist expression guided by professional working artists. Students of all skill levels are welcome!
Visit MoCA Arlington’s Website here and the registration page to secure your space today!
Please join us on Saturday, June 3, from 2 to 4 pm for the Glencarlyn Home Tour in Arlington’s historic Glencarlyn neighborhood. Among the featured homes will be a sparkling new home by A&N Builders at 5604-4th St. South. The inviting front porch opens to a light-filled space featuring high ceiling, wood floors, gas fireplace, Pella windows, Shrock cabinets, Quartz countertop, and JennAir appliances. Doors from the family room open to a large covered porch with a few steps to the level, landscaped rear yard. Upstairs, there are four bedrooms, three bathrooms, laundry room, and linen storage. The big lower level has a rec room, gym space, and a fifth bedroom and bathroom plus even more storage. After leaving the home, stroll to the Ball-Sellers home, the oldest residence in Arlington, the community gardens at the library, Carlin Hall, and the 94 acre Glencarlyn Park. A lovely way to while away a late spring afternoon.
Homebuying 101: Steps to Getting Pre-Approved
Are you ready to jump into homeownership or started considering it but don’t know where to start? Financial preparation is key when thinking about purchasing your first home and the first step to getting pre-approved.
Join ACFCU’s mortgage loan officers
4th of July Celebration & Fireworks
Treat yourself this Independence Day with a world-class, private 4th of July extravaganza at the Military Women’s Memorial – a premier National Capital Region site.
Great food, fun, and the best views of Washington DC’s spectacular fireworks display. Relax, enjoy,